Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Media watch

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team defeats Long Beach State and captures the championship of the 2016 Big West Tournament at the Honda Center, Anaheim, CA on March 12, 2016. Photo: Brandon Flores.

A good – or bad, depending upon your perspective – aspect of participating in the NCAA Tournament is the extensive media coverage that comes with it.

The University of Hawai’i basketball team, which is participating in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002, is no exception. As one of 68 teams in the field, the Warriors are being mentioned in articles all across the World Wide Web, and in newspapers across the country.

Hawai’i, which is a No. 13 seed in the South Region, will face No. 4 seed Cal (which is also ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll) on Friday at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington. The game is scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m., and will be televised nationally on TBS (Oceanic channels 551 and 1551 in Hawai’i).

Thanks in large part to sponsorship from Pacific Risk Solutions and Ameriprise Financial – Valerie Schmidt, WarriorInsider.com will be able to join the media frenzy in Spokane this weekend.

NCAA Tournament First Round
Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington
When: Friday, March 18, 8:00 a.m. (Hawai’i time)
TV: Live on TBS (Oceanic channels 551 and 1551 in Hawai’i)
Internet video: Live streaming on www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/watch
Radio: Live on ESPN 1420 AM
Internet audio:Live on www.espn1420am.com

Below are some examples of the media coverage this week:

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If you are looking for TV news coverage of the Warriors this week – and last week, for that matter – KHON2 is the station to watch.

Rob DeMello has been doing incredible work as both reporter and his own videographer, documenting the Warriors’ journey since last week.

The above video is his latest report from Spokane. Previous video clips of his reports from the Big West Conference Tournament in Anaheim, Calif., can be found at www.khon2.com.

It should also be noted that the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Brian McInnis has been reporting from the road with the team since it clinched the Big West Conference regular-season title at UC Davis (doesn’t that seem like a long time ago already?).

— — — — — — —


The San Jose Mercury News posted an informative article recently on the Hawai’i vs. Cal game, focusing on the thoughts of UC Santa Barbara head coach Bob Williams. UCSB is the only team to face both Hawai’i and Cal this season.

Among the quotes from Williams in the article:

“I’m hopeful they will make it a game, but they will have to play very well. Cal is awfully difficult, athletically. They are so long.”

“Hawaii will be ready to play. They played Oklahoma — they’re not going to be intimidated. They have a big enough chip on their shoulder, but they would have to shoot the lights out to be in the hunt.”

“He’s a great defender, not a good defender,” Williams said of Hawai’i point guard Roderick Bobbitt. “He has phenomenal instincts, defensively.”

CLICK HERE to view the entire article

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The firing of Cal assistant coach Yann Hufnagel on Monday has made for distracting headlines this week. It is mostly a distraction for the Golden Bears, but it also takes away potential mainstream coverage from the Hawai’i program.

The San Francisco Examiner posted a column this week, detailing some of the background on Hufnagel and Cal Athletics.

CLICK HERE to view the column

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There are some “experts” and media outlets picking Hawai’i as an upset special in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Sports Illustrated is among them.

Here is an excerpt from the “Upset Pick” of the South Region, according to www.SI.com:

Still, a team relying on freshmen seems ripe for the picking against a 13th-seeded Hawaii club that won’t be impressed. The Rainbow Warriors lost to Oklahoma by a scant 84–81 margin way back on Dec. 23, and they’ve also played the likes of Texas Tech (a loss on Nov. 28) and Auburn (a win on Dec. 29). Those last two teams aren’t world-beaters, but Hawaii will have more than a general idea of the talent they’re facing. Moreover, the Rainbow Warriors have ample size in 6’11” leading scorer Stefan Jankovic (15.7 PPG), 6’5″ guard Aaron Valdes (14.6 PPG) and 6’3″ guard Roderick Bobbitt (13.3 PPG) to match Cal. And the Rainbow Warriors enter the tournament with the 41st most efficient defense in the country, so they know how to get stops. Remember: Aloha means hello and goodbye.

CLICK HERE to view the entire article

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On the other hand, Cal is listed as a 7-point favorite by Las Vegas oddsmakers, and www.espn.com is picking the Golden Bears as its “Darkhorse” to win the entire South Region and advance to the Final Four.

What’s more, there are millions – yes, millions (last year drew more than 11 million) – of entries in the ESPN Tournament Challenge, and 80.8 percent of the current entries (as of Tuesday evening) are picking Cal over Hawai’i in the first round.

If you haven’t filled out a bracket yet and would like to increase the Hawai’i percentages, there is still time.

CLICK HERE to fill out an ESPN Tournament Challenge bracket

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One particularly well-known person with Hawai’i ties is picking the Warriors to upset Cal in the first round.

President Barack Obama, a graduate of Punahou School, took the Warriors as his biggest upset special of the first round in his bracket projection.

CLICK HERE to view the article and video


  1. Aliright WI !! Spokane !! Mahalo to Pacific Risk Solutions and Ameriprise Financial & Valerie Schmidt . Go Bows !!

  2. Thank you warrior insider and its sponsors for being the best media coverage spot for the Bows!!!

  3. Here we go –

    The harder the challenge; The bigger the reward.

    We are the Warriors of the Aloha State, we take Aloha seriously!

    May Lady Luck be with you always!!!!

  4. Is that webleedgreen’s son in the champions picture ?

  5. I love all the publicity this team is getting, they deserve it.

  6. cal is scary athletic and deep…2 lottery picks and possibly a total of 5 nba players…this will make for a good game

  7. Obama also has Hawaii defeating Cal! He originally wrote Cal but then crossed Cal out and picked Hawaii! You can view his bracket here: http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/2625153-president-barack-obama-reveals-his-2016-march-madness-bracket?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial

  8. No disrespect to Rob DeMello or Brian McInnis, But Dayton And Warrior Insider is THE best UH Men’s Basketball coverage hands down!

    Regarding the quotes from the Santa Barbara coach, ha! Isn’t he the one who, after our game said something like, whatever it was I said at half time I was wrong, they dismantled us! I never did find out what it was he said at half time. That guy doesn’t want to give us full credit…he’s afraid to fully commit and say these guys ARE VERY capable of beating Cal. It’s ok, I like being under dogs, under rated, under estimated, under the radar. I kinda wish so many weren’t acknowledging how good we are. I do like how so much of the attention is toward Janks. Then some to Bobbitt now, and a few have mentioned Valdes now. Nobody seems to know our secret weapon. TEAM. TOGETHER. Next man up, baby!!! We got this. Focus. Fun. I do like that one guys line…Aloha means hello and goodbye!

  9. Cal seems to have the edge as far as raw talent goes, but the fact that the main players in question are young, one-and-done freshman that are turnover prone and not especially good at knocking down free throws.

    My analysis on the game: The winner will be decided by whoever wins the turnover game. Cal is turnover prone and Hawaii can be very disruptive. Cal will likely win the rebounding battle, however if Hawaii can stay out of foul trouble and keep the mental mistakes to a minimum, I strongly believe we will pull the upset.

    I have Hawaii as a sweet 16 team, upsetting Maryland in the 2nd round which is very similar to Cal. Either way, I’ve enjoyed the ride. This team has given more than any fan can ask for. They’ve achieved their goals, exceeded expectations and have been the shining light for UH athletics. Win or lose, I will remain as the same diehard fan I’ve been since the early 90’s.

    Let’s GO BOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. For the past years, I’ve pretty much only gone to WI as my primary source for men’s basketball news. So thank you very much for all the coverage.

    Cal is favored but when once tip-off comes, everything goes out the window and it’s all about who wants it more. March Madness Baby!

  11. Although Long Beach lost in a close game with Washington, the fact that they had a double digit lead at a couple points in the game is an indication that we can play with these big schools from a major conference. Long Beach didn’t play smart at the end of the game; otherwise it could have been a win.

    UH can play with Cal, but we’ll need to play smart and also make our free throws.

  12. Fear no one. Respect everyone. We know team know they can win. If warriors win.Maybe be in league makes most sense a Pac 16 eventually.
    Bows just remember Pocatello . Idaho. March 1972. UH huge confidence. The Bows lost by 28 to weber state.
    Coach Eran doing good job same thought one team first. Next man up. Next game same preparation.I think warriors shoot well they can advance to sweet sixteen and..go bows!! And stay humble.

  13. Obama picked UH? Does that mean he can send out orders for Cal to lose to make himself look good! LOL

    At first I couldn’t believe that 80 percent of the people were picking Cal but after I thought about it that means 1 for every 5 people is picking UH. That is actually pretty good!

  14. Congratulations on being the regular season and the tournament champions. I mentioned about 10 games before the season end that no mentioning of the NCAA tournament so to jinx the goals desired. Now that they have made it no mentioning of anything beyond the first game.

    As a team do your thing. Be humble, prepare, focus, and play hard. It has been a pleasure to watch and follow the team all year. Come Friday just WIN.

  15. I love being the underdog. It’s not like we’re big underdogs, only 7 points. It’s a neutral court. The beauty of basketball is that anything can happen on a day of reckoning. Could be shots not falling, a steal, a rebound, a missed free throw, a travel, a goaltending, a foul, a bench player, a half court shot, a coach, etc. The object is to win and advance. It’s so final. People react in different ways. UH has played a lot of close games, and won a lot of them. They played Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Northern Iowa who beat N. Carol a. They beat Auburn, a team that beat Kentucky. And we have a great coach. This is not Gib Arnold. This is not Benjy Taylor. This is Eran Ganot. A coach who inherited a good team that made it into a great team. In college, great teams are great because they have great coaches. In the NBA, great teams are because of great players. What I dream about is beating Cal, beat Maryland, upset Kansas, win another game to make it to the final four, and pray after that. And in the end, make a movie about it. A player from Serba, Canada, a player from Sweden, a former water polo player, one from Oakland, a couple of Aussies, another one from Delawareetc. Injuries, a player quitting and facing adversities and winning a championship. A melting pot. No 4 or 5 star players. It’s probably too far fetched, but stranger things have happened. Looking for another Hoosier type story. Chicken skin. A feel good story made into a movie. The title of the movie, “Impossible Odds.” Charles Barkley should be in the movie!!!!

    Well, did we ever think UH would go 12-0 and make it to the Sugar Bowl and our QB finished 3rd in the Heisman balloting. I don’t think so. But, it did happen.

  16. Apparently, one of their assistants tried to proposition a reporter for sex…

    “Fired UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach admits propositioning reporter for sex”


    “The revelations are part of a growing scandal that marked the third high-profile case of sexual harassment on the UC Berkeley campus in the last five months, and the second in a week.

    Hufnagel — who acknowledged to campus investigators his conduct toward the reporter was inappropriate but argued that it didn’t constitute harassment — did not return calls seeking comment. In an interview with ESPN on Monday, he said he was “blindsided” by the findings, and that he planned to hire lawyers to clear his name.”

  17. Sorry, had been covered in the main article and has nothing to do with game…

    Go ‘Bows!

  18. Analysis of matchups, etc. mentioned on another board:

    “1) Control Jankovic and get him into foul trouble.
    2) Solid perimeter D without fouling.
    3) Manage turnovers and pace.
    4) Make shots.
    5) We should be fine as long as we have a game plan for dealing with these things.”

  19. islandman:
    Do you mean the kid, he looks about 8 or 9? Wonder if dad a booster, if not then they shouldn’t be attending practices like said in previous post

  20. March Madness: The Most Likely First Round Upsets; http://on.wsj.com/1S58qjS

    Interesting: UH picked by The Count and KenPom with 30% chance – while the ESPN nation gives us an 18% chance.

    Sorry folks, surprise coming – have watched Cal several times. Serious talent especially upfront but foul prone and also as the old sayings, basketball IQ not the best at this stage.

  21. UCI M Basketball ‏@UCImbb 48m ago (NIT)
    ‘EATERS WIN!!!
    What a game! UCI outlasts North Dakota in a back-and-forth OT thriller, 89-86.
    #WeZotThis “

  22. s/b UCI in the CIT

  23. UH 80 Cal 72
    Face South Dakota St. next round
    Hawaii experience guards senior leaders
    Warrior bigs . Smart and all can score.
    Good team athletic can beat Mc Donald’a All Americans!

  24. islandman,

    will be interesting to see how Irvine copes moving forward with an injured Mamadou. Just read that he suffered a knee injury 8 minutes into the game.

  25. Islandman,
    Yes, he is in black.
    Daboyz808 son is in white in that pic

  26. Word is cals.point guard wallace just broke his hand today in practice!!! I believe!! Stars aligning!!!


  27. Wallace being out would be phenomenal news, as cal is already a turnover-prone team. Losing one’s point guard can’t help in ball-security! This is getting better each day!

    Hawaii808, being a booster or not, that doesn’t permit or prohibit one from attending practice. A head coach can decide who to let in to practice and who not to. Coach Ganot said hi to me and my son (who is a team ballboy) at practice and was fine with us being there. We attend lots of practices, and are never a distraction. But I’m really not sure why this even matters to you?!? Or why I need to address it/defend myself to you lol
    Now, can we get back to rooting for our team?!? 34 hours or so til gametime!!! GoBows! JUST WIN BOWS!

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